Sueños provides extracurricular education to students of all ages and their parents through three student programs, as well as a three-pronged support system to ensure their success.
The "Dreamers" class is an interdisciplinary, after-school program for boys and girls of preschool and elementary age (ages 5-11). The curriculum is rooted in the Guatemalan National Base Curriculum, and integrates academic areas while building social and emotional skills. The year is divided into 4 modules: Getting to Know Myself, Getting to Know My Community, Getting to Know my Country, and Seeds for the Future. Classes are focused on topics that are culturally relevant and meaningful for students.
Sueños en Acción
Dreams in Action"
The class "Dreams in action" is for teenagers, ages 12-18,
who are in a transitional stage. Perhaps they are finishing
primary school and considering their work and study options for the following year. Perhaps they have already left school and are managing a stage of greater autonomy or independence. This class gives young people tools to help them handle the positive aspects, and also difficult aspects, of reaching this stage of life, by providing a connection with mentors (their facilitators) that will guide these processes. In addition to being students, they learn to be leaders within their group, with other children in the program and in their communities.
The class "Little Dreamers" is a mommy & me class for children who are in the important stage of building a bond of affection with their main caregiver (in most cases their mother) and who still do not have the autonomy to be in the Dreamers class. The goal is for small children and their moms to make the most of their close bond, to generate the positive emotions that stimulate learning. The class is for ages 0 to 5 years. The class includes diverse stimulations for small children as well as important information about caring for a baby, or small child, for parents.
Our Support system
At Sueños we believe that students need the support of their community to succeed. For this reason we have a three-pronged support system that
1. guarantees that parents, particularly mothers, are able to take an active role in their child's education,
3. that students have the nutrition that they need to be successful, and
3. that public schools are supporting students in the best way.
Mujeres en Acción
"Women in Action" Parent Program
As part of our programs, all mothers are invited to participate in monthly workshops focused on women's empowerment. Many families experience machismo culture that limits the decision-making power of women within their own families and in all facets of life. This program encourages mothers to speak up about the life they want for themselves and their families. In addition to this program, Sueños conducts monthly meetings with families to make sure that students are being supported in the best way possible.
Nutrition & Health
A nutritious snack
In every class, students receive a complete, healthy meal. For some students, this may be the only meal that they eat in a day. Throughout the year, students learn about and practice good nutrition habits.
Public School Support
Connecting to the educational community
The majority of primary school-aged children at Sueños attend public school. Sueños supports students by periodically connecting with their public school teachers and principals and providing extra support where students need it. Sueños provides notebooks and other school supplies to students based on their attendance.
Sueños started as a seed in 2014 when the founder, Katie Korsyn, began volunteering with the working families and children in the Central Park of Antigua Guatemala.
Two years later, Katie decided to found a formal organization, Camino a la Escuela, which at the time had the goal of working with preschool-aged children to provide the tools necessary for success in first grade, while ensuring that families were able to navigate the process of enrolling their small children in primary school.
Almost two years after the founding of Camino a la Escuela, the organization found that there were new needs in the community, and better ways to provide for students of all ages. In 2018, Camino a la Escuela changed its name to better reflect its work with a population of students ages 0-18, as well as their families. Sueños stands for Sembrando Unidos la Educación para los Niños (which roughly translate to Together Planting Education for the Children) to represent a change in the focus of the organization: to provide the tools and motivation necessary for students to choose their own path in life, and achieve their dreams.